- Annual, schmannual
Many companies do reviews only once a year and, based on those evaluations, they might promote someone or let someone go. This makes no business sense. You want all potential problems nipped in the bud as soon as possible, and you want to take every opportunity to reward and encourage good work so that it will be emulated. Why wait until the end of the year when you could be reviewing employees as you go, gaining immediate awareness of performance? This gives you a much more accurate picture of what's going on in your company, both positive and negative. And if there are any potential problems developing, this practice gives employees the chance to shift and correct a mistake. Imagine that you're driving down the highway and start to drift into the next lane. The other drivers will honk at you right away. The feedback is instant, definitive, and focused on correcting potentially dangerous behaviors as soon as they occur. When teams are working in a way that is as fast and focused as possible, feedback needs to be delivered in a constructive manner with an immediate corrective effect. The exact same logic should figure into the review process of any growing business. This is why we use a continual review process at LexION Capital. We work so closely and collaboratively that there is really no time for a problem to take root. We also gain the chance to highlight excellence in real time, so that all good behavior can be singled out and rewarded throughout the year.
- Create zones that foster casual interaction
This can be as simple as creating one coffee station in the break room or designating a "creative corner" where people can sit at a couch instead of their desks. Forced casual interaction is critical. It prompts people to get to know each other, and it helps people feel more comfortable and at ease.As a team grows, larger cliques will stay together, but there is always a need to create spaces that naturally give rise to casual interaction. Sure, you can institute out-of-office events, team happy hours, and the like, but why not build opportunities for interaction into the office environment itself? Very simply, people work better when they are happier at work--and they are more likely to stay in their jobs. A big part of this is feeling like you're not just on a team but part of something bigger, working alongside friends. These simple shifts go a long way toward creating an atmosphere that helps your team feel supported, energized, and excited to be at work, which will only help your business in every way.